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tv   Dateline NBC  NBC  February 29, 2016 2:00am-3:00am EST

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a streak of jealousy. >> this is pride. >> this was murder. >> i got a pne call, they said your father was found killed in his home. >> a wealthy, respected doctor. why? why is this man dead? >> these lovers had a stalker. >> watching her. >> creeped me out. >> did one man's obsession lead to another man's dead. >> jealousy, raid. >> that's what we have here. >> someone pulled the trigger, but wasomeone else pulling the strings? >> i believe they think they're playing a game. >> but this, was no game. >> this can't be. you don't live this kind of life. >> i'm lester holt, and this is "dateline."
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memories of a family man. >> she's a dancing girl. >> a doctor. a lover. a good man. >> he was the ultimate support system for everybody in his life. >> finally, saveroring life's rewards, until he found himself in the cross hairs of someone's obsession. >> there is innuendo, in a small town in west texas. the story on its own is so sensational. >> it happened in lubbock, a town where texas sized dreams can actually come true. lubbock texas produces livestock, good schools, great health care. with the right set of skills, people can live large in this little city. as long as they watch out for
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dangers that strike out of nowhere. on july 11, 2012, a brutal hot spell had loosened its grip on lubbock. a warm afternoon w w still cooking away. dr. joe, becky sherbet and nathan gilmore, when someone pulled up to the house. >> it was a girl from dr.'s lab had not shown up. >> he was chief pathologist at covenant hospital. >> we rang the doorbell and couldn't get anyone to answer. certainly don't know his work schedule, but i i know him as a person. would he not be late. >> a lot of people knew dr. so in. a -- >> she admired her big brother. >> he didn't go halfway with anything. anything he pursued, he did well. >> a family presented, who joe
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>> went through med school, dirt pool, lived in a tiny roach filled pardon me, had no money, until he was a successful doctor. he was totally self-made and had a drive. >> a successful career and a marriage that brought him a beautiful family. everything was on track. then, in 2001, he suffered a huge set back. his wife left him for another man. >> so he found himself in his late 40s, a sin gailgle man and their kids starting their adult lives. >> their dad made a change. >> before he had been a button-down doctor who had been married to his high schoolgirl friend of 30 years, and then all of a sudden, he has to basically start over. >> he dated women who appreciated him. he bought himself a house, made it nice.
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he even started dressing more fashionly. >> he was very han some and tall. and he dressed, i mean, he looked great in everything. >> a bachelor in his late 40s, who had, you know, let's face it arcs i decent amount amount of money. >> he sounded like a catch. >> as he reach his 50s, joe seemed to be making up for lost time. >> how did he do with all the attention he was getting from the ladies? >> he was very humble. >> answered picked up a hobby that turned into a passion. ballroom dancing. it was social, challenging, answered was good at it. >> his dance card was pretty full. >> yes. >> he really remade -- he remade his imagine after the divorce. >> he loved to do every style of dance. eye rolling.
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>> everyone wanted to dance with him. >> he became a regular. and then one day, in 2011, rochelle walked into the door. >> she is outgoing, loving, friendly. extremely bubbly. and everybody that i know that came into contact with her really liked her. >> rochelle was 49 years old and a divorced mother of four. they had only been going out for a few months, when joe put her to the ultimate test.. meet my kids date. >> my dad told us that he had been dating a new woman and wanted to bring her to a barbecue we were and that's where we met her. i thought she was sophisticated. i thought she was kind. i thought she was lovely. and our first impression of her was very good. >> they dated for close to a year. until that day, when he didn't
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the landscapers and coworker gave up knocking on the door and decided to look for the doctor out back. >> and opened the gait, and one whole section of windows had been just laid over in the house. they peered inside. >> there was a gatorade bottle, which was a strange thing. you could tell something terrible had happened. >> so the young lady behind us, immediately went in and i went after her. >> that's when nathan found ashellaa shell casing on the floor and they called 911. >> somebody has broken a window in the back and the doctor has did not show up for work today. there is a bullet in -- it was laying on the ground. >> okay, was it an actual bullet or had it already been fired? >> i don't know.
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somebody else walked in. i'm not here. i'm not going in. >> nathan and the woman from the lab continued searching through the home. >> she starts looking in the rooms, and it seemed like it took forever to go through the home. >> they searched further, and eventually made their way to the garage, and that's where they found joe spaawled. >> she automatically started crying and she said his name, dr. sonay. >> he returned to his coworker, and his face told her everything. his face told her everything. it's not good. oh, no. god. >> ma'am, ma'am, what's going on. >> i don't know. >> but this much was clear. a man they admired, a doctor,
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a pool of blood. coming up, what happened to the doctor. rochelle rochelle, the doctor's girlfriend think she may know. >> she said i hope this hurts him as much as he hurt us. (knocking on door) honey? i'm dying my hair mom. hair dye? no, not in my bathroom. relax mom. honey, just let me in. no! tiffany! no! tiffany!!! it's just purple. teenage daughter? get scrubbing bubbles. kill 99.9% of germs and destroy dirt and grime. you only need scrubbing bubbles disinfectant cleaners for 100% problem solved. we work hard so you don't have to.
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dr. joe sonay was handsome, well liked and successful. but his showcase home in
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his body riddledith bullets and stab wounds, found on his garage floor. >> we've got the chief pathologist murdered in his own home. >> why? that's my first question. why is this man dead? >> how did you all get the terrible news of what had happened? >> they said your father was found killed in his home. can you please let your family know, and would you please come to lubbock. we need to sit down with you and the family members and talk. >> the news was devastating enough, but even more tragic, the second murder in this family. >> the worst part was, my mother was killed two years, almost to the day, before my dad was murdered. >> their mother had been killed by her second husband. >> looking back on it, the phone calls from the two police
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deaths was so similar, that i felt like it could have been the same phone call repeated twice. >> when detective johnson showed up, the garage door was closed. but graphic evidence of joe's killing was apparent to anyone who got close enough. >> the blood had actually traveled from underneath this body all the way underneath the garage door. >> what happened? the first guest guess was an easy one. it could have been a botched burglary. >> your first instinct is somebody broke into the house, take things of great value and surprised by the homeowner. >> but nothing was missing. the crime seemed to center on joe so innay. >> how many times was he shot? >> five. >> stabbed? >> 11. >> the detective moved through the house, trying to imagine what happened. >> i just walked up and
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and from where i was at, i could see that the window was pushed in. there was no broken glass, which is very curious to me. >> investigators also noticed something about that gatorade bottle on the floor. >> a projective traveled through it. i made the determination it was possibly a silencer. we had bullet casings in the immediate area. >> the people close to joe were in for scrutiny, including his girlfriend, who rushed to the house when she heard the news. >> what was her demeanor. how was she acting. >> distract. no makeup. you know, clothed, like she had been doghouseing housework, got in her car and flew to where we were. >> he asked her to come to the place station.
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relationship with him? >> he's the love of my life. i can't imagine who would want do this to him. he's the kindest man. >> rochelle wasn't the only person who thought he was a keeper. she told police that the doctor left a number of broken hearts in his past, including a relationship he ended just before he met rochelle. >> they had an on again off again relationship. she wasn't happy about it. >> so the women in rochelle's eyes were maybe looking for revenge. >> she felt she had been shorted out by dr. sonay. >> another woman couldn't get over her break up with the e doctor, so upset, she
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sometimes full of vulgarities on joe's phone. >> she had called and called and called. to the point where he had to hang it up, or had to turn off the ringer. joseph would get these horrible text messages, you know, calling him [ bleeping ]. you know, you're such a [ bleeping ], whatever. the next day, it was like hi, do you miss me? >> do you know when the last time he received any communication from her? >> it wasn't that long ago. >> so another, if i can't have him, no one can. >> correct. >> she also told police about a strange letter she received in the mail. in it, a woman named tina claimed she had a sexual relationship with the doctor, and he had broken his promises to her. rochelle described the letter. she met joseph on the internet, and that they had sex for money basically. and she and her daughter lived in this place, and joseph hasn't
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she said i hope this hurts him as much as he has hurt us. >> rochelle said that she and joe thought the letter was a prank. still, it was another possible lead for police. >> you've got all these lights going off in your head. and so you're just trying to balance out how these people are involved. > rochelle was also concerned about a strange incident a few months before the doctor's murder. she thought a burly stranger was watching her. >> a creepy looking guy. he was looking for someone or watching someone. >> not long after that, something else happened one night at joe's house. >> and so while they're standing in the kitchen talking, they see a flash. which they believed to be a flash on a camera. >> investigators checked out those weird incidents, and the ex-girlfriends, but they also
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>> at this point, rochelle is not a suspect. she's more of an involved person. however, i don't have that luxury of not looking at her as a possible suspect. >> detective johnson learned the family felt rochelle was pushing joe hard for a marriage proposal. >> i just don't believe that she let her foot off the throttle very often. >> she's putting the clamps on him to get married. >> so he wasn't digging that? >> that was stressing him out. >> rochelle said she and joe talked about having a long-term committed relationship, but never discussed marriage. still, it raised a red flag for police. until they got a tip that the killer might be someone the doctor had never even met. coming up, a growing list of suspects. is one linked to rochelle. >> i'll be honest, i love, love, love that women.
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>> rochelle seemed lost, exhausted, as she talked to police about the man she loved, and about who might have killed him. she told them about women in joe's past. she said some of them were angry. but joe wasn't the only one with past relationships. rochelle had a few too. and one in particular came to mind. >> dr. thomas michael dixon. >> he was rochelle's old boyfriend. well to do and well-known plastic surgeon, with a beautiful home, thriving practice, at at one time, his own local talk show. >> i get the patients who come in and say i want to look like j low or beyonce.
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first met her at a spa he owned. when his wife found out, she divorced him. mike and rochelle dated for about a year and a half, but she says it wasn't always easy. >> it was volatile. it was up and down, and he would, i believe, that he was seeing other women and he denied it. >> but the final straw, was a birthday gift that fell flat. >> he signed me up for tea of the month, and he had it mailed to me. i was just, like, really? you know, you couldn't hand me something. you had it mailed to me. >> by all accounts, she broke dr. dixon's heart when she dumped him. she says that he begged her to come back, even after she started dating dr. sonnier. >> she went to his house the night after the murder. what was his face like when he opened the door? >> he was a little surprised to see us.
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they recorded the meeting. >> i'm shocked. >> believe me, you're on a list of like eight, nine people. this is a huge, a huge who done it for sure. >> well, i didn't. >> he was calm, even chatty. never met joe, their only connection, rochelle. if he carried a torch for her, it was over. >> i'll be honest, i really loved, loved, loved her. in fact, i had fallen head over heels. made a lot of life changes for her, but just wouldn't have -- it just wasn't going to work. >> in fact, he already moved on to a younger girlfriend, who was with him the night he was questioned. most of all, he had a solid alibi. >> yeah, we didn't think he was ininlved. we had checked him out as far as the information, we had solid. surgery, this is where i was, so on and so forth. >> they continued their search
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it was just a few days later that police got the break they needed. they got a call from a man with a crazy story that would launch a murder mystery into the headlines. >> he's been relating stories about this things that he did. >> his name was paul reynolds, a veteran studying to be a nurse and still in his scrubs. he lived in amarillo, about two hours away. an old friend from high school, a guy with problems. >> he can be very bombastic, pompous, ar grant, obnoxious. >> according to reynolds, this guy was a blow heart, could barely hold a job and a talked a big game. but reynolds was concerned his latest story might be more than talk. his friend was telling him that he killed a doctor in lubbock. >> just got up, he had this gun and shot the guy.
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pushing in a window. >> did he say that the window was broke? it is that theshattered. >> it didn't break. that got his attention. this detail matched what happened at joe sonnier's. >> nobody knew that. we didn't release that information. >> that's huge. he also used a gatorade bottle as a silencing device on the gun. once again, we hadn't released that information either. >> the guy's name was dave shepherd, and that rang a bell. police remembered that when they interviewed dr. mike dixon, he said he knew a guy named dave shepherd. detectives learned they were best buddies and business partners. >> i don't know how they met, but they were just good friends. >> did he go into any other details about his contact with mike?
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>> right, right. >> paul reynolds said dave might have something about a triangle. possibly a love triangle. >> but something happened between these two that made dave think that he needed to avenge. apparently dixon was not only going along with it, but he was going to pay him. >> police put aside any suspicions, and focused on this unlikely pair, this doctor and super sized wing man, big dave shepherd. >> coming up, a doctor in denial. >> i had no idea what is going on here. >> thanks to dave, police do. >> in the bag is a gun, a knife
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after dr. joe sonnier's brutal murder, his family was inundated with sympathy. >> waiters at restaurants were coming up to us, knowing who they were and expressing their deep condolences, and when my dad used to eat there, and how nice he was to them and they remembered that. >> by now, police had their big break. a tipster implicated rochelle's ex. it was enough to charge them with murder. mike dixon seemed surprised. >> i have no idea what's going on here. >> but andrew dixon, mike's son
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>> he was somebody that valued the human life. >> but neither mike nor dave were talking. dave cut a deal with the d.a. the death penalty was off the table if he told his story in full and if the d.a. believed him. >> i would like for you to tell me how it is that you ended up meeting up with dr. dixon, michael dixon. >> we were at a smoke shop maybe four years ago and we connected and hooked up. >> it was an unlikely friendship. dave shepherd, the likeable loser, always chasing the next thing. and dr. dixon, prominent plastic surgeon, wealthy, they were the odd couple. >> these quick women, smart-ass and we hit it off. >> both men were getting divorced in 2010, and mike w w
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>> she was around 49, 50 years old. smoking hot. i thought she was just lovely. i thought she was a sweetheart. >> mike was cries aeazy about her, according to dave. when rochelle took up with another man, another doctor named joe sonnier, mike didn't like it one bit. the two buddies tossed around some things to -- >> he told dr. dixon, if you want to get to sonnier, you need to order him some gay porn magazines and you have to send it to his office. that would destroy him. >> and immature. >> immature. did they do it? >> no, they don't do that. dr. dixon is like no, i don't want do that. >> another scheme to embarrass him, hiring a woman he knew from a gentlemen's club named shina. >> he has a proposal for you.
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had been dating a woman, and that she was now dating a doctor in lubbock and he wanted me to call the ex-girlfriend and lie to her, say that i was having sex with her boyfriend as well for money. >> shina said no, but mike wasn't giving up. he sent dave to lubbock repeatedly to spy on them. >> full on stalking. >> stalking, committed, we're going to do this. and so david pretty much commits that i'm going to go ahead and do this for you. >> but then, dave said, mike's evil intentions towards joe sonnier escalated, all the way to murder. >> tell me how he told you or how you all discussed killing dr. sonnier? >> initially he wanted somebody
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look like, you know, just a home invasion or robbery. there had been some in lubbock. >> this is go time. we're not turning back. dave's like, oh, my god. he wants this man dead. >> dave told the detectives it became clear that he would be the killer. acting for mike. mike would supply the weapon, dave said. >> it was a little beat up 25 automatic, i could barely put my finger in it. it was tiny. >> on july 10, 2012, dave said he got to lubbock around 4:00 in the afternoon. he schmuck into dr. sonnier's backyard and waited for the doctor to come up. >> i hadn't been there long. my glasses, shorts, i had my bag. the bag was a gun, a knife and a belt. >> three and a half hours went by. nothing. and then, dave said, a wrapping on the window.
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house, looking right at him. i wave at dr. sonnier and get up. i walked to the window and he lowered the window about this far from the top down. >> what happens when you walk up to the window? i pulled the gun out of the bag, i point the weapon, discharge it several times. after three or four discharges, he's backing away, trips on his feet. falls to the ground. discharged a couple of more times. he's running across to the i believe the garage. >> so he runs down that hallway, he is out of sight from you? >> yes, sir. >> what do you do next? >> i pushed the window in. i don't know if he's going for a gun. i don't know if i ever hit him. i don't know what's happening. so i push in the window, crawl in. >> so you were in, and you have
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>> yes, sir. >> and you go in there, what happens? >> i pretty much run around the corner as fast as i can so i can intercept him if he has a weapon and he's going oh come after me. as i turn around, down the hallway, right into the garage, he's laying on the floor. >> not moving? >> not breathing, nothing. i check his pulse in his neck. he's dead. >> but that wasn't enough for dave. i pulled the knife out of my bag, and i stabbed him in his vital organs two or three, four times. >> a full confession. he watched live from another room. >> you must have been hanging on every word he was saying. >> yeah, we certainly were curious as to everything that had taken place. there is no doubt in my mound he was telling the truth. at least most of it.
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in three silver bars, and detectives learned, dave did cash in those bars. as for the murder weapon, he led them to a lake in amarillo, where he tossed. >> he remembered everything. >> he did. he said i remember coming over here, and i had that gun, and i just under hand tossed. >> these two trees. >> correct. right into this area here. >> a year later, in august 2013, dave shepherd pleaded no contest to two counts of capital murder in exchange for a life sentence without parole. but mikes dixon was going to trial. their attorneys said their client had nothing to do with their plot. >> from day one, he made it very clear that he did not pay, he did not plan, and he did not participate in the killing of joseph sonnier.
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>> but what happened in court during the trial would be unbelievable. coming up, a star witness with a startling n n story to tell. >> 20 cent meettersmeters, i had never been involved in something like that. >> when dateline continues. do you know where the waterfall is? waterfall? no, me tarzan, king of jungle. why don't you want to just ask somebody? if you're a couple, you fight over directions. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. oh ohhhhh it's what you do.
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lubbock, texas was transfixed on this love triangle gone bad. for rochelle, it was an unimagine able situation to be in. d.a. matt powell. >> our theory was, an obsession with rochelle. this is vengeance, pride, jealousy. he spent months and months trying to destroy a relationship she was in. so i don't know if it was just a vengeance for him, or if some part in the back of his mind said you know, i may get her back. >> but dr. dixon's attorney said he was an innocent man who had poor taste in friends. >> what is mike dixon guilty of? >> where do we start? >> capital stupidity of the highest degree. and trusting david shepherd.
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that mike dixon was the master mind. >> this crazy plan. >> yeah, you know, it just amazing. still amazing to me today that two guys that at least on the appearance had a lot to lose, would just throw it away in something so callus as this. >> been convicted. >> when you met with him before the trial, everything was on track. >> yeah, i mean -- >> all on the same page. >> you had a deal. >> the deal was already done. he pled guilty. >> dave shepherd had one job to do for the prosecution. get up on the stand and repeat what he told detectives. that he murdered joe sonnier in exchange for three silver bars from dr. mike dixon. >> you're in the courtroom, he is on the stand, all is well. >> it wasn't all well very quickly. >> that's because dave shepherd pulled a fast one. when he got on the stand, he
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dixon's role in the murder. his confession was a complete fabrication. dave said he acted alone, and that dr. dixon had nothing to do with the murder. >> am i shocked that he acted the way he did? am i shocked he acted like a con man, no. to do the things he did, no, i didn't see that coming. >> you had to think on your feet. >> yeah, it was something when 20 something years of doing this job, i had never -- i've never been part of something quite like that before. >> there weren't any cameras in court capturing the drama, but there was one in jail. weeks later, when dave confided in his daughter rachel. >> it was a careless accident. nobody is responsible except me. you need to understand that. it was not intended. i wasn't paid do that. >> why would you make a statement t tt mike paid to you do it iffe didn't pay you to do? >> because my attorneys, what they told me when i did that
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attorneys told me i needed to sell it. >> dave shepherd's about face was pure gold for defense attorneys. >> were you surprised when he did that? >> that's what he consistently told me. no, mike did not pay. he did not want anybody harmed. that was all me. mike didn't have anything to do with that. so i was prepared for what he had to say. we didn't disclose it to the prosecution, and i think they learned when he testified for the first time that he was going to recant his first story. >> for the sonnier family, watching the proceedings from their side of a deeply divided courtroom, difficult shepherd's 180 was a big blow. >> the, we'll call the it the circuit created by the froud length testimony, through
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is going on in the minds of the jors afterereeing dave shepherd come in and spin that awful tail. >> joe's son was right to worry. as it turned out, the jury was hung. a mistrial was declared. the family was distraught. >> he walked in, and without missing a beat, looked us straight in the face and said to us, guy, i'm so sorry this happened but we're going to turn around and do it again and we're going to get him the second time. >> mike dixon's son wasn't -- it was andrew dixon who didn't. >> one of the hashedist things just to watch his name just get, you know, drug through the mud, and you know, you're just think, we're going to get to say something, and let everybody know who my dad is and that he can't be capable of what he is accused for.
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the second time around? maybe. maybe not. coming up, the tail of the text. >> there is no way that you would think that these are texts about a murder. >> the evidence was very strong that he was a active, willing participant in this. >> a new trial.
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and the verdict? on october 26, 2015, it was dajuvu. charged with the murder of dr. joe sonnier, for the sonnier family, it was time to put on a game face. >> i decided before the second trial that we should be
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support the d.a. and really push this thing forward. >> pushing it forward was exactly what prosecutor matt powell had in mind. that meant the prosecution would not put dave shepherd on the stand this time. although the jury would hear about his confession. >> it's a largely sircircumstantial case. would he want to kill a total strainer? >> i didn't think it would be a tough sell at all. the evidence was strong that he was an active, willing participant in this. >> prosecutors had discovered hundreds of text messages between dave and mike. both men deleted their texts after the murder, but forensic experts were able to retrieve about half of them. >> a series of urgent texts between shep perherd in the middle of june. got to happen tomorrow. i know. i need him to show.
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we're get down to the wire. >> why is there a time limit? why is it important for him to show? why is it important if he shows up, it's over. >> what they were doing, prosecutor powell argued, was planning a murder. >> but no evidence of murder, either, in the text messages. >> are you going to put evidence in a text message that says go kill the guy. obviously you're not going to do that. instead of saying killing somebody, put it on him. can't wait for him to get home. i need an opportunity. get it done. >> the prosecution pointed to 38 texts and four calls between dave and mike on the day of the murder. when dave called mike that night, the call hit a cell tower near dr. sonnier's house. the day after, there were 21 texts, including the one mike fired off to dave once detectives left his house. >> just had a visit from lubbock pd. cigars.
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>> hard to misconstrue that one. police there and all of a sudden, you're texting the murderer to lay low. >> the defense attorneys said none of the evidence pointed to murder for hire. >> a lot was made between the text messages. they don't look great. >> they look horrible. >> something clearly was being planned. but you don't believe that it shows that murder was being plan? >> there is no way that you would think that this -- these are texts about a murder. no way. >> and that is what mike dixon said when he took the stand in his own defense. the volley of texts, they were all about trying to get photos to make joe sonnier look bad in rochelle's eyes. >> he acknowledged that he was trying his hardest to get proof of joseph sonnier being with other women and not being litted to rochelle. he acknowledges being inpatient.
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shepherd to do that. but he absolutely does not, and did not, ever want david shepherd to harm joseph sonnier physically. >> but if mike wasn't guilty of murder, why did he delete all his text messages, even going so far as to submerge his phone in a pool. >> i think this is a problem people watching will have. i wouldn't do that. if i had nothing to hide, i wouldn't start destroying all this evidence, and jumping into the pool with my phone. >> they could say they wouldn't do it. until they were in that same situation. >> he's b bng wrapped up in a murder that he had nothing to do with. and in the sense that he never wanted dr. sonnier dead. >> andrew dixon, mike's son. >> naive, almost a sense of people. studying all the time, working hard and i think those things left him naive to the way people
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>> but would jurors buy that. on november 18th, after delib rating for two hours, they returned with a verdict. >> they kept saying guilty, guilty, guilty. yes, i found him guilty, and it was like a bad dream. >> guilty of two counts of capital murder. rochelle was not in court for the verdict. but she sent us a statement, saying in part, she couldn't express the depth of her despair and grieve. she said she saw no red flags, and expressed anger with mike dixon and dave shepherd and herself for having been involved with a man she now considers a sews sews sosiopath. >> the idea of mike dixon for not being in prison is so horrifying, you can't wrap your mind around it. there is the concept floating
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and it was. >> now joe sonnier's family focused on his legacy, a doctor, a father, a passionate dancer. >> is he dancing up there in heaven. >> he e y be. he may be. >> that's all for now. i'm lester holt. thanks for joining us. this sunday, hillary clinton's blowout win in south carolina has her looking towards november. >> tomorrow this campaign goes national. >> while bernie sanders vows to fight on. >> it would make me so happy to run against donald truru. >> bernie sanders joins me this morning. plus, what a week on the republican side. first, rubio thumps trump.
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then trump thumps rubio with a surprise endorsement. >> there's no one better prepared to provide america with the strong leadership that it needs. >> as donald trump collects endorsements, the republican establishment approaches panic. is it too late to stop trump now? donald trump and senator ted cruz are with me this morning. and when you look at moments like this. >> a con artist. >> you're a choker. >> hair force one. >> total lightweight. >> worst tan in america. >> biggest ears i've ever seen. >> is it time to ask whether the gop is on the brink of coming apart? >> my party has gone bat [ bleep ] crazy. >> joining me for insight and analysis are charlie cook of the cook political report, heather mcghee, andrea mitchell of nbc news and erick erickson. founder of the conservative website, the resurgence.
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welcome to sunday. and a special super tuesday edition of "meet the press." from nbc news in washington, this is "meet the press with chuck todd." good sunday morning. just 48 hours until super tuesday. we have so much to get to so let's get started right away. hillary clinton had nothing less than a blowout win last night in south carolina. clinton beat bernie sanders 74 to 26, 3-to-1 margin. she swept virtually every category especially african-americans whom she won by a margin of 6-to-1 and also won every single county in the state. again. america has never stopped being great. but we do need to make america whole again. >> look who's pivoting to the general. super tuesday voters in 12 states go to polls and the single biggest day of the primary season for both parties. and our brand new polls in three
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even more good news for hillary clinton. big leads for clinton in georgia, tennessee and texas. look at that sitting around the 60% mark in all three. pretty good indication that clinton is set to have a super, super tuesday. but let's turn to the wild republican race. and we'll go state by state in that one. in georgia donald trump has a seven-point lead over cruz and rubio, 30% trump, cruz and rubio tied. in tennessee trump's lead more durable at 40% followed by cruz in second and rubio a close third d d then the rest of the field. but in texas it's a different story. ted cruz is hanging onto his must-win home state. and he has a comfortable 13-point lead over trump. rubio is a distant third there. now, these polls were taken before marco rubio's strong performance in that thursday night republican debate. so we asked our pollsters to recontact as many people as possible. we talked to 30% of the respondents in all three states to see whether rubio's debate


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